Episode "Death spins a wheel" of DuMont's "The Adventures of Ellery Queen", originally broadcast "live" on 5/10/1951. Featuring Lee Bowman as 'Ellery Queen' and Florenz Ames as 'Inspector Richard Queen'.
February 14, 2013 Subject:
Decent short-form entertainment
The real highlight here, in my opinion, is seeing Robert H. Harris play a bad guy. If you're a DuMont junkie like me, and have to see every scrap of footage surviving from that dear departed network, you'll recognize him (here as a casino owner) as the man who played Jake Goldberg on "The Goldbergs" during that show's time on DuMont and into syndication.
Jake Goldberg is a pompous but kind-hearted father character, and it's a delightfully strange turn to watch Harris go from that to the sort of soft-boiled villain that seems to have existed exclusively in early 1950s television as film noir was going out of style. (As an anecdote, Harris was actually the third man to play Jake Goldberg for TV, and by the time he got the part it was clear what visual and verbal characteristics the character was supposed to have. Most of them were carried over into his villain part here, including the set of heavy glasses I now think must have been his own.)
Not much to do with "Ellery Queen". Taken on its own merits, this is a fairly decent crime drama, produced for the cost of a happy meal, a product that hadn't been invented at the time. But it isn't da bomb either.
In other words, not as good as "Rocky King, Detective", but better than being impaled inside of a giant puppet......unless the guy wielding the giant puppet wears purple make-up.
25 minutes ain't bad, pretty average for the time.